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Prophetic Witness

By Allen Rose, DignityUSA Board member

Some people have deep wounds from Catholic homophobia. Dignity has a special gift to help these people heal. Sharing our truth in a public way helps these people find us. Talking to politicians and bishops can help create a more just society and Church for LBGT people. Because of our personal and collective experience, we have an important truth to share.

Coming out is sharing one’s personal truth with another person. Sharing with a prospective, new boyfriend or girlfriend that you are Catholic and participate in a Dignity community is letting someone important to you know what you value. Communicating with Church or political leaders on behalf of LGBT rights is speaking truth to power. Each of these situations is an example of giving prophetic witness. It is sharing our truth with another, and we never know who needs to hear what we have to share.

I had an opportunity to testify to a legislative committee last year for marriage equality in Maryland on behalf of the Dignity members who live in Maryland. It was a privilege to be able to give this testimony. I hope that by testifying I helped contribute to the success of the marriage equality campaign, but what I really learned is that the people who belong to Dignity have a deep need to see Dignity’s leaders and members share our truth in public ways, in other words, to give prophetic witness to our experience and our truth about being LGBT and Catholic.